The Textile Museum Journal: Color, Expectations and Authenticity in Oriental Carpets

Detail of an Oriental carpet
Anhalt Carpet (detail), Iran, 1500-1550. The Metropolitan Museum of Art 46.128. Gift of Samuel H. Kress Foundation, 1946.


This interview between The Textile Museum Journal guest editor Mary Dusenbury and contributing scholar Walter B. Denny will explore the controversies and difficulties surrounding any study of color in pile carpets by art historians, conservators and photographers.

Far from being straightforward, the variable of color in the art of the Islamic carpet over the centuries is fraught with complexity. Dr. Denny and Dr. Dusenbury will also discuss how scholarly expectations of color in the various historical eras and geographic groups of carpets are shaped by what has survived of old traditions.

About The Textile Museum Journal

Our peer-reviewed journal is the leading publication for the exchange of textile scholarship in North America. Published each fall, it features research on the cultural, technical, historical and aesthetic significance of textiles from all around the world. Learn more about the journal

About Walter B. Denny

Dr. Denny is professor of art history at the University of Massachusetts Amherst. He has curated and published extensively on Islamic carpet and textile history, and previously served as honorary curator at the Harvard Art Museums, and senior consultant at the Metropolitan Museum of Art. He has been Charles Grant Ellis Research Associate of Oriental Carpets for The Textile Museum since 2002.

About Mary M. Dusenbury

Dr. Dusenbury is affiliate research curator at the Spencer Museum of Art, University of Kansas. She has written and lectured extensively on East and Central Asian textiles, and served as project director and editor for an international study that culminated in the publication Color in Ancient and Medieval East Asia. She holds degrees from Radcliffe College/Harvard University and the University of Kansas.

How to Participate

You can register for this program online. After you register, we will email you a link and instructions for joining our program online via Zoom. Simply follow that link at the time the event starts (12 p.m. EST). When you register, you can also request to receive a reminder email one day before the program with the link included.

About the Series

In this series, authors who contributed to volume 47 of The Textile Museum Journal discuss the importance of color studies for understanding the historical and cultural context of textiles. Browse all interviews